The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) is at the forefront of driving digital transformation to make Sri Lanka a digitally inclusive nation.The AgTech Showcase held on 10th June 2021,virtually, is an initiative to increase awareness and adoption of Technology in the Agriculture industry. This initiative focuses on creating collaboration among stakeholders in the Agriculture sector, introducing new and advanced Agri-technologies from local and international experts, providing necessary support for new technology research and development, and connecting solution providers with technology-based companies.
Anura De Alwis, Chief Digital Economy Officer ICTA, speaking at the session, stated, “in line with the Digital Economy strategy, five key pillars are identified as drivers to achieve our vision of making Sri Lanka a digitally inclusive nation. Namely; Technology Industry Development, Startup Ecosystem Development, Capacity Building, Technology Diffusion, and Regional Cluster Development. Agriculture is identified as a priority industry under the scope of Technology Diffusion. We need to harness the benefits of modern Technology and blend it with our traditional practices to help transform and create a thriving agriculture industry in Sri Lanka.”
From Germany, Mr. Jan Lachenmayer- Managing Director Enpact shared insights from a global perspective and how impactful, sustainable innovation can occur within ecosystems in the agriculture sector. He also shared expert advice about the Smart Technology used in agriculture and farming. Professor Pradeep Abeygunawardhana, Director Technology Diffusion ICTA, commenting on this initiative, stated, “Technology can benefit the agriculture sector in many ways. Advanced economies use sophisticated Technology such as robotics, Artificial Intelligence, IOT, Smart Farming, precision agriculture, biotechnology, nanotechnology, hydroponics, and aqua phonics to increase productivity.” He went on to say, “As a nation, we need to harness the benefit of Technology for any industry to be more profitable, efficient, safer, and environmentally friendly. AgTech showcase is one of the many initiatives we have planned to encourage continuous discussion and dialogue with stakeholders such as farming associations, government departments and institutes, AgTech service providers, AgTech companies, and industry experts.”
Dr.Beshan Kulapala, Director AIGrow (Pvt)Ltd. , Lakshan De Silva, Chief Financial OfficerSpectrifyAI, Miller Rejendran, Chief Executive Officer Senzagro (Pvt)Ltd., Buddhi Warushavithana, Business Analyst Commodity Exchange Platforms at Epic Lanka, Chathuranga Bopeththa, Manager Heylese Agriculture Holdings Limited, Mifra Ismail, Head of Fresh Food Category John Keells Holdings and Chandika Gunathilake, Operations Manager Cargills Agro Development Co. showcased their innovations at the
forum. The session followed by an engaging panel discussion with the closing remarks given by Mr. Rizvi Zaheed, Chairman Sri Lanka Agriprenuers Forum.With over 130 participants actively engaging in the session, it was well commended by industry experts, professionals, corporates representing the agriculture industry, and Agtech entrepreneurs.
The plan for AgTech Innovation Sri Lanka program was revealed at the forum. AgTech Forums, Product Market place, AgTech Consultancy Network, AgTech Research, and Development Arm, AgTech Summit, and AgTech School are among the many aligned initiatives under the AgTech Innovation Sri Lanka program. These initiatives will ensure continuous dialogue among stakeholders in the Agtech industry to drive higher productivity, more income, and improved quality of life for those whose livelihoods depend on the agriculture industry.